Saturday, March 19, 2005

ANALYSIS:Chinese minister's trip could redefine India-Nepal ties

India had been providing the Royal Nepalese Army with its indigenously manufactured INSAS firearms at 70 percent subsidy. However, the INSAS weapons need 5.56mm ammunition, which are not manufactured in Nepal. The army has to buy the bullets from India. On the other hand, Nepal manufactures 7.62mm ammunition at home and Chinese weapons, especially AK-47s, can be fired with these bullets. Nepalese army sources said though there were no immediate plans to start buying firearms from China, "if push comes to shove" and the Indian embargo continues, eventually Nepal might turn to Chinese weapons..................More